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Published On: Sun, Apr 20th, 2014

How we spent Ekiti’s N25 billion bond-Finance Commissioner

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Ekiti State Government on Thursday said that proceeds of the N25 billion bond it floated on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) were committed in the provision of development infrastructure.

The State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Dapo Kolawole, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti.

Kolawole said contrary to some other opinions, the bond was the best option because of the prevailing economic realities and passion of the Fayemi-led administration to develop the state.

According to him, the state government settled for the bond after considering available options, including embarking on an aggressive tax drive to improve its revenue base.

He said the state government settled for the bond because of its transparency, 14.5 per cent interest rate compared with banks’ lending rate of between 20 per cent and 22 per cent and the seven-year repayment period.

Kolawole also said that they had repaid N11 billion in less than two years of taking the bond and had transformed the landscape of the state through the provision of world class infrastructure.

The finance commissioner said that the idea behind obtaining the bond was to stimulate the economy and develop the state.

He listed the projects prosecuted with the bond’s proceeds to include 11 intra-townships and inter-township roads totaling over 170 kilometres.

Nine of the roads, he said, had been completed.

Other projects funded from the bond include the construction of a 10,000-seater pavilion nearing completion in Ado-Ekiti, ultra-modern four-storey Liaison office in Ikeja, Lagos, an ultra-modern Civic Centre with 1,500 seat amphitheatre.

Others are three 150-seat cinema halls, three elevators, one museum and four floors of office accommodation.

He listed the redevelopment of the Ikogosi Warm Springs Tourist Centre, the resuscitation of the long abandoned Ire Burnt Bricks factory and construction of an ultra-modern Government House complex as some of the projects.

Kolawole also listed blocks of lecture rooms, multipurpose hall and students’ accommodation at the newly approved College of Technical and Commercial Agriculture and the completion of the ultra-modern Oba Adejugbe Hospital in Ado-Ekiti as part of the project.

The Commissioner said that the state would not have taken the bond option if the Federal Government had paid the outstanding N14 billion used in the rehabilitation of some federal roads in the state.

He condemned the attitude of the Federal Government to the development of Ekiti State, stressing that the state had more than 50 abandoned federal projects. (NAN)


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